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Crowne Plaza Williamsburg,
Williamsburg, VA
October 14-18, 2012

General Chair's Thank You

Hello Again Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thanks for visiting the DASC and checking-in here for the Chair's Summary. You participated in the 31st DASC or wish you had, presumably, because you are a technical professional with a keen interest in advanced aviation concepts and designs.

As autumn is upon us, we reflect on the past year and how we faired in Williamsburg.  The 17th century capital of colonial Virginia is where our efforts in reviewing the history of aerospace electronics and its projection into the future of avionics culminated.  If we learned nothing else from our review of history, let’s walk away with the renewed commitment to learn more.  Let’s continue to realize that we “don’t know” everything about our history that will help us in future avionics decisions.  Also, let’s make no mistake – the “right” approach towards the next 100 years of avionics will positively influence all of mankind.  I believe that we are part of the solution and I have personally been honored to briefly contribute in leading us down this path for this past year. 

With over 300 participants, we are certain that the environment was produced at the DASC where evolving electronics and other engineering advances have been shared that will enhance flight. 

The DASC organized a technical paper program, a set of useful tutorials, and student-focused activities.  The authors submitted abstracts and papers that covered the gambit of Flight Deck Systems; Air Traffic Management (ATM); Communications, Navigation and Surveillance (CNS); Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS); Systems and Software Engineering; Information Management, Networks, and Architecture; and Verification and Validation of Complex Systems.  We evaluated the research papers and although all were superb, identified those we believed warranted award recognition.  Throughout the conference, attendees and authors exchanged views that will only enhance future advances in aviation.  The tutorials provided systems knowledge needed for HW/SW design assurance and methods for managing faults; standards for real time operations; systems engineering perspectives in avionics and space; surveillance and collision avoidance; synthetic and enhanced vision; applicable network and wireless; future navigation; acquisition processes for special avionics and systems; and review of digital avionics systems and architectures.  This year we introduced a high school student competition “Avionics Competition/Challenge”, and we were all pleasantly surprised at the quality of work presented by these young people.  Theirs was a very popular booth at the exhibition.  Thanks to all our sponsors and exhibitors in making our venue memorable. 

We introduced an Interactive Workshop where we encouraged more rapid advances in current applicable technologies.  We set the goal to:  “Define today's avionics programs based on the integration of 7 scenarios for what we think the air and space flight electronics will look like in 2112.”  As a result of the Workshop, very little is “off the table” as far as what can be accomplished over the next 100 years.  The question becomes, will we actively, safely, and efficiently pursue the tough challenges set before us?

Through special Sessions/Panels, we were fortunate to hear about and see presentations on specific avionics issues while having questions answered by leaders in the field.  The kickoff Plenary Session gave us a professional rendition of the history of avionics through the encompassing presentation by our Smithsonian Curator; NASA HQ’s Director for Aviation Safety Research linked our current activities to what we think the future looks like; the SR-71 pilot and program manager from L-3 ComCept opened our eyes to what can be possible when engineering is brought to bear on well-defined aviation goals and objectives – this gave us a lesson to take to the future;  the President for sales of Bombardier gave us perspective on what the 20 year future in business jet aircraft looks like;  the VP of Technology for Rockwell Collins gave us a technically sound near/far term rendition of technical challenges we should be cognizant of;  and the Deputy FAA Deputy Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety gave us the realistic state of current and future challenges facing government execution of aviation programs.  Our final Lunch Panel gave us a riveting account of the evolution and future projection of avionics from the Mitre Corporation’s Director of CNS Engineering & Spectrum; the FAA’s Acting Director of Engineering Services; Gulfstream Aerospace’s Director of Advanced Cockpit Programs; NASA Langley Research Center’s Director for Aeronautics Research; and Lockheed Martin’s Director of Aeronautical Systems.  The Virginia Air and Space Museum provided the perfect backdrop for our Air Force Historian (ret) to give the concluding historic presentation.  We appreciated the knowledge shared by him and all these executives.

It is my belief that we will soon see advances in fields such as quantum mechanics, plasmonics, nano-scale gravitational field management, associated electromagnets, and phonon/photon characterization for digital applications.  We’ll also see revolutionary material electronics in flight surfaces, controls, and power/ propulsion management schemes.  I hope you all are a part of these advances and use your technical expertise in refining these and other related physical concepts and principles while safely moving digital aerospace electronics forward.  We have come a long way since vacuum tubes and terrain following navigation. 

I am venturing to speak here for our authors; students; educators; special, track, and session chairs; exhibitors; sponsors; special event speakers; and the DASC committee when I say that we are satisfied that the 31st DASC stimulated the thought required to carry us through the 21st century and beyond.  As a 32nd DASC contributor in aviation or aerospace electronics you will help influence the collaboration of efficiencies and safety throughout the industry next October.  Set your calendars for Sunday the 10th through Thursday the 14th, now.  We look forward to your participation in the October 2013 DASC. 

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